News

Partnership for Women Empowerment - New Initiative of UNFPA, FAO and Liberty Bank

24 August 2020

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Georgia Country Office, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Liberty Bank initiated series of joint meetings in different regions of Georgia to increase awareness and empower rural women.  The goal of the meetings is to increase awareness of rural women around issues like gender equality, reproductive health and rights, community participation and also about the bank services that may be of use for women involved in agricultural activities. In August and September 2020, at the initial stage of the initiative, the meetings shall be held in Shida Kartli, Kakheti, Racha-Lechkhumi and Adjara and cover more than 300 women.  
On August 22, 2020, the project held its second meeting in Lagodekhi municipality and gathered about forty local community member women engaged in therural and agricultural development projects implemented by FAO in Georgia.  They received information about topics like family planning, prevention of cervical and breast cancer, domestic violence, harmful practices like early marriages, gender based sex selection), role of gender equality in business and agricultural development, financial planning and bank services, offered by the Liberty Bank to women involved in agriculture.
“Protection of women’s reproductive health and rights, their awareness about challenges and opportunities, is one of the most important priorities for the United Nations Population Fund.  We are permanently trying to expand the circle of allies and supporters to be able to reach out to more women so that they are not left behind the development wave.  We are pleased that the Liberty bank, being the business with high social responsibility, decided to invest in this direction and got involved in the process of empowerment of rural women,” said Lela Bakradze, Head of the United Nations Population Fund Georgia Country Office.
„Women living in rural areas make a huge contribution to agricultural and rural development at the household as well as country level.  FAO's gender equality policy implies active and equal participation of women and their economic empowerment.  Empowerment is achieved through identification and eradication of obstacles, grown awareness, involvement in the decision making process and increased access to resources.  Events like this are essential for rural women for getting involved in social activities, for expansion of support networks and ability to raise their voices,” said Mamuka Meskhi, Assistant FAO Representative in Georgia. 
“Liberty Bank in cooperation with the United Nations Population Fund and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, is organizing meetings in the regions of Georgia in order to increase awareness and empower women living in rural areas.  Liberty continues its special educational and informative programs about the banking products.  We are pleased that today the project adds a new equally important direction.  We hope that in close partnership with our partners we shall develop new projects to empower women, to inform women involved in agricultural activities about bank services and how to make the most of it,” said Irakli Abashidze, Liberty Bank’s Deputy Director in charge of MSME direction.     
 Current evidence shows that information and service availability is of the utmost importance for the empowerment and improvement of quality of life of women and achievement of gender equality. Hence, the women living in rural areas are the ones who face especial difficulties.  In 2020, the United Nations Population Fund Georgia Office and the Liberty Bank concluded a Memorandum of Understanding, with women empowerment as one of its key directions.